The Egyptian government has approved a $441 million project to widen and deepen the Suez Canal to permit the passage of larger super-tankers, the daily Akhbar Al Youm reported.
A statement by the Suez Canal Authority said the expansion work would increase the canal's width from 345 to 400 meters and its depth from 22 to 25 meters.
The changes will increase the canal's draught to permit the passage of 92 per cent of commercial ships in use.
By next year, the project will have advanced enough to allow the passage of 200,000-ton ships with a 62-foot draught, compared to the 60-foot draft permissible to date.
At the project's end in 2017, 350,000-ton vessels with a 72-foot draft will be able to pass through the canal. This tonnage is the maximum allowed by international environmental conventions.
The Suez Canal earned Egypt $1.868 billion in fiscal year 1999/2000. The expansion project will be financed fully by canal revenue. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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